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"Transitioning to YOur New Job as an LP Director" by Mike Keenan, VP of LP for GAP North America. A Chapter From Retail Crime, Security, and Loss Prevention An Encyclopedic Reference


Know about an event we should feature here?
Let us know.

11th Annual Virginia Retail Loss Prevention Conference - Virginia Beach, VA - Holiday Inn Hotel. September 6, 2012. Click here for more details.

Canada's Biggest Retail Loss Prevention Event. Mississauga, ON - International Centre. September 11-12. Click here for more information.

New England ORC Symposium & Trade Show - September 20, 2012 Worcester, MA - DCU Center

Watch for our article the day after each event!

CLEAR's 3rd Annual Training Conference, Dallas, TX. Sept. 18-20, 2012. Learn more here.

8th Annual Impact Workshop. Join other retail executives interesed in LP research on ORC prevention, packaging innovation, video analytics, benefit denial, plus much more. LPRC: October 15-17, 2012. University of Florida Campus. Gainesville, FL

Washington State Organized Retail Crime Alliance Annual Training Conference. Burien, WA. October 18, 2012. To register visit


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Northern Michigan University, located in Michigan’s incredible Upper Peninsula, offers one of the only baccalaureate loss prevention management programs in the United States. It is offered completely online and accepts up to 92 transfer credits. An affordable investment into a dynamic and growing profession. Learn more here

Gregg Smith, Sr. Director of Loss Prevention for The Children's Place, completes his first year in this senior LP position

The Children’s Place is the largest pure-play children’s specialty apparel retailer in North America. The Company designs, contracts to manufacture and sells fashionable, high-quality merchandise at value prices, primarily under the proprietary "The Children’s Place" brand name. As of April 28, 2012, the Company operated 1,062 stores and an online store at and operates throughout North America.

With his first year behind him, Gregg took the time with us at the Daily to reflect on some of the LP department’s accomplishments. When Gregg joined The Children’s Place he was challenged to improve performance and elevate the program to best in class.

Gregg initially focused on assessing the team and the structure of the department and quickly made the necessary changes to elevate the talent and better align the department with the store organization. He initiated and chairs a cross-functional task force to gather input and ideas regarding existing and new LP programs, as well as to solidify corporate support and expedite the change process.

Gregg’s four primary initiatives were field engagement, technology deployment, training, and creating a metric management process to measure performance and improve LP results. The LP assessment process now is automated with the goal of improving awareness and operational compliance.

Over the last year Gregg and his team have begun making significant strides by reorganizing the department, creating the corporate task force, focusing on four key initiatives to improve LP results, and automating the assessment process. With a solid start behind him, Gregg looks forward to accelerating the LP department’s progress over the coming year.

We at the Daily would like to congratulate Gregg and his team on a job well done.

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Another 'flash rob' in Portland one day after new city policy. Portland Police were investigating another flash mob in North Portland but do not believe any crimes were committed. The incident occurred just before 11:00 p.m. Saturday night; a group of teenagers entered the Walgreens store on North Lombard. Witnesses at the Walgreens said the teens began grabbing food and drinks off of store shelves making for some very nervous moments. Police have not made any arrests and said the security video was poor quality and didn't show any crimes. The event comes just a day after the city announced it has new policy when it comes to flash mob incidents. Flash mob thefts are no longer considered low level crimes, and according to a new city policy, anyone caught will be prosecuted fully-- even first time offenders. (Source

Apple Store reveals foot traffic at 300 Million since October 2011. According to figures provided by Apple there have been almost 300 million visits to Apple Stores around the world since October 2011, the start of Apple's current fiscal year. Apple reportedly has the highest revenue per square foot among retailers in the US, achieving seven times the median revenue per square foot for the top 20 retailers. Furthermore, the Genius Bars at those 375 stores, the latest two opened in Canada last weekend, look after 50,000 people per day. (Source

More bad news for Best Buy. Best Buy reported dismal second quarter results Tuesday morning, missing analysts’ estimates by a wide margin one day after the company raised eyebrows by selecting a CEO with no retail experience to engineer a turnaround. Best Buy said it earned $12 million, or 4 cents per share, during the second quarter ended Aug. 4, compared with $150 million, 39 cents a share, the prior year. (Source

Nike tells Retailers, No more midnight releases. Nike Inc. has come up with new rules for retailers, prompted by unruly crowds outside stores selling its shoes. According to a company memo, the world's largest sportswear maker told sporting-good stores that they will not be allowed to pre-sell or take reservations for new shoes. The retailers will also need to give up midnight releases of shoes that had prompted customers to camp outside and stampede stores. (Source

Wal-Mart brings back holiday layaway but offers some tweaks. After seeing high customer demand for layaway during last year’s winter holiday season, Wal-Mart is expanding the interest-free pay-over-time program for Christmas. The new program will last a month longer than last year’s and will include more items than the toys and electronics featured last year. Wal-Mart says its layaway program, which will begin Sept. 16 and end Dec. 14, will give shoppers an extra month to spread their payments. (Source

Ireland’s Department of Treasury says they lose $1 Billion a year to the Black Market. According to report by the Irish Business and Employers Confederation the government is losing 861m Euro a year due to black market activity and retail theft due the recession. The report 'Tackling the Black Market and Retail Crime', shows at least 12% of all diesel sold here is illegal and 19 oil laundries have been detected and closed and 690,000 litres of oil seized since 2010. It reveals almost one quarter of the Irish cigarette market is sourced from the black market. In 2011, 109m illegal cigarettes, with a value of $56.9 million, were seized. Attempts to import counterfeit goods went up by a quarter to 1,277 from 2009 to 2010 and 66,853 counterfeit articles were intercepted in 2010. The report also highlights that Ireland ranks 11th out of 22 countries in Europe for shoplifting, with employee theft accounting for one-third, the highest rate in Europe. (Source

iPhone SMS bug said to be serious threat. A flaw in iPhone security could allow spoofed SMS text messages, but there are some tricks you can use to detect and avoid them. SMS text messaging is certainly not exclusive to Apple or its iconic iPhone smartphone. But, apparently there is something unique about the way Apple delivers SMS messages that makes the iPhone particularly vulnerable to spoofing or smishing (SMS phishing) attacks. Why is that a problem? Well, if an attacker knows the phone number of your financial institution, or your Mom, or your boss, he (or she) could send a text message to your iPhone that appears to originate from that number. On an iPhone, the SMS text message would seem to be from a legitimate source, and you would be much more likely to respond, or comply with requests for sensitive information you normally wouldn’t share. (Source

Hank Siemers, Group Director of Security Worldwide at Tiffany & Co., to keynote London’s LP Summit. On September 12, Siemers will be the keynote speaker at the 3rd Retail Bulletin Loss Prevention Summit in London, focusing on shrink trends and organized crime moving into the UK. Siemers spoke recently on how Tiffany & Co. is focused on prevention and controls to help reduce shrink here in the US. (Source

A Flint store owner is facing up to five years in prison, convicted of $750,000 in food stamp fraud. Evidence introduced during trial showed Mandingo’s average food stamp redemption was more than $26,000 per month — compared to an average of roughly $5,500 per month for other convenient stores in the area. Authorities said Fofana and others ran a bridge card scheme, whereby they paid customers — including undercover law enforcement agents — roughly 50 cents for each $1 charged against their bridge cards. Bridge card benefits ultimately wound up in the market’s bank account. (Source

Wichita man trying to open a cash register with a screwdriver at Dillard’s and Kmart. A Dillard’s employee suffers minor injuries after being attacked with a screwdriver. Police say employees saw someone trying to pry open a cash register with a screwdriver. When employees confronted him, he ran toward an employee with the screwdriver, tearing his clothing and cutting him on the back. The man was chased outside by an off-duty Butler County Sheriff's Deputy, who pulled out his weapon, but did not fire. A few hours later, the same man was seen at the K-Mart on S. Broadway...again, trying to pry a cash register open. The suspect was confronted by a loss prevention and held until police took him into custody. (Source

Local credit card scam may be part of larger ring. A pair of Columbus, Ohio men who allegedly used personal information from consumers to create hundreds of fake credit and debit cards may be part of a larger ring, officials said. Both men were indicted this week in Warren County after they were arrested at the Franklin Walmart after they allegedly bought about $2,400 in merchandise and gift cards with credit and debit cards they created using stolen bank account information, according to Prosecutor David Fornshell. (Source

Attempted smash-and-grab at SW Atlanta store caught on camera. The failed attempt left the front on the store damaged at the Discount Mart, but the suspect left empty handed because he could not get through the security bars across the window. (Source

Kohl’s Loss Prevention Associate assaulted during a stop. An adult shoplifter along with a 16 year old juvenile was apprehended in the parking lot of the Rock Hill, North Carolina store, but not before the Loss Prevention associate was kicked. The adult female, Leslie Knight now faces shoplifting, criminal conspiracy, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, third degree assault and possession of a schedule ll drug. The suspect had over $1000 in merchandise concealed in her purse. (Source

Flagstaff man arrested for fake bomb threat at a Barnes and Noble. A Flagstaff man has been arrested after allegedly threatening a Barnes and Noble store employee with a bomb. Flagstaff police said employees called police Sunday afternoon after a customer told them he had a bomb on his bicycle, which was parked outside the front door. The employee told police that the man, later identified as 55-year-old Dennis Andrew Grant, asked the employee to watch his bike while he was in the store and when the employee said he couldn't, Grant allegedly said, "I have a bomb on the bike that can be detonated by my cell phone." The store was evacuated while the bomb squad inspected the bike. Police determined there was no bomb and the store was reopened. Police said Grant admitted to making the comment but said he was a "joke." Grant faces a charge of making a false emergency statement. (Source

Burglar falls through ceiling into FedEx building Spartanburg officers are looking for a man who was caught on camera after he fell through a ceiling while burglarizing a building over the weekend. The manager told Spartanburg Police when he checked on the building, he found that someone had gotten inside and had damaged two cash registers. Officers said they had responded to a burglar alarm at the building overnight, but they had found all the windows and doors secure. Once inside the building, officers found that a burglar had fallen through the ceiling tiles in one of the storage rooms. Officers determined that the burglar had gotten into the building through a roof hatch. They said the burglar fell through a ceiling and there was blood on fallen ceiling tiles and inside the small storage room that he fell into. The manager told police that when he reviewed the security video, the man who broke in was recorded in a hallway carrying the cash registers. (Source

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"Transitioning to Your New Job as an LP Director" b Mike Keenan, VP of LP, Gap North America

Over the next few weeks the Daily will be publishing Mike Keenan's chapter   “Transitioning to Your New Job as an LP Director” from the book Retail Crime, Security, and Loss Prevention, 1st Edition, An Encyclopedic Reference.

Book authors Chuck Sennewald & John Christman
Published and released February 20, 2008.
Imprinted by Butterworth-Heinemann
ISBN: 9780123705297

 "Transitioning to Your New Job as an LP Director"

by Mike Keenan, CPP, CFI
Vice President of Loss Prevention
GAP North America

Background screening is the best way to prevent hiring a dishonest employee before they even walk onto the selling floor. Review your company’s existing background screening program. Do you have one? If you do, is there drug screening? Are there criminal checks? Credit checks? Employment verification? Education verification?

Because of the high turnover in retailing, background screening is expensive so implement a strategy that is cost effective. Determine the risk levels of your employees. Management and cash office personnel should be at the top of your list in terms of risk level. People in these positions have the most access to cash, merchandise and company property. Evaluate all of the positions in your company and develop a background screening strategy that fits. HR is an excellent partner in this evaluation process.

Participation in a national retail database is an absolute. National retail databases include dishonest employees and shoplifters from fellow retailers. This information is the most specific to the retail industry. They are relatively low cost and usually have a higher “hit” rate than the other checks and verifications. However, these databases are only as good as the information that is submitted to them. Talk to other LP Directors and find the national database that includes the most retailers that you are likely to hire your employees from. If your company does not participate in one of these databases, you should definitely consider joining one.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the final part of this series -- click here to read what's been published

Mike Keenan is currently the Vice President of Loss Prevention for GAP North America. His prior experience includes sixteen years with Macy’s West where he started as an LP Manager and worked his way to Vice President of Loss Prevention. He then held similar LP positions with Ross Stores, Longs Drugs and Mervyns. He started his career with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mike has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from California State University, Sacramento. He has served on the NRF LP Advisory Council and was the Chairperson in 2001 and 2002. He is a licensed Private Investigator in the State of California. In addition, he taught Retail and Corporate Loss Prevention classes at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, California.

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Suspect with showcase keys makes a clean get away, except for the camera. A Houston trio stole nearly $35,000 of diamonds and gold for a small business owner. The trio came prepared; the suspect reaches over the showcase and tries several keys as the others distract the associate. The first attempt fails, so the suspect changes his shirt and hat and returns with more keys and is able to quickly bag the loot. (Source

Five women hit Target in Woodbury for phones and electronics. A group of five women entered the Target store and immediately split up then regroup in the electronics department. One suspect is believed to have a homemade magnet to unlock the peg hook locks for the mobile phones, stealing atleast five Boost phones. One suspect was busy removing two flat screen televisions, wheeling them in a cart out to her van. Total value of the theft is $1,467.91. (Source

Fry’s Electronics surveillance video released: $163,000 of Apple products stolen. Campbell Police, outside of San Jose are still seeking to identify the 5 suspect connected to the robbery of the Fry’s on August 8th. According to the police log, at least two, and as many as five suspects pried open the front exit door, pried open the electronics cage and stole numerous iPads, iPhones and iPods. (Source

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Thought Challenge

The Freshness Window
Understanding Perishable Sales

Submitted by Adam Smith, CFE, CFI
Senior Regional Asset Protection Manager
Winn Dixie Stores

Each day companies around the world engage in the sale of perishable goods, which are like a ticking clock that counts down to a point when the product must be sold or the product will be lost. The most common perishable goods purchased by consumers are fresh foods sold by grocers. Another common perishable good is live plants. These goods have individual spoilage timelines; if not met, will result in losses.

Perishable goods have a freshness period of a number of days from harvest, which vary by specific item. In this freshness period, the product is considered at its peak quality regardless of the point within the freshness period. After the freshness period ends, quality degrades by each passing day. For example, a banana one day beyond its freshness period is considered much fresher than a banana four days beyond its freshness period. During the degradation period, customers will be increasingly dissatisfied with the quality of the product. If too many days pass beyond the freshness period, the product becomes spoiled. At the point of spoilage, passing days are irrelevant. Fresh foods illustrate this point best, but the concept is applicable to perishable goods following the described model.

The freshness period and the spoilage point vary by product. As an example, fresh lettuce may have a freshness period of 7 days and a spoilage point of 14 days. In days 8-13, the quality of the product will slowly degrade to the point of spoilage. Ideally, this product should be sold between days 1 and 7. Alternatively, onions have a larger freshness period.

The period up to spoilage represents the Freshness Window. The point when product is sold within the Freshness Window represents the level of quality a customer will experience. Providing products within the freshness period is a way for retailers to add value to perishable goods without increasing costs. Alternatively, selling beyond the freshness period reduces the value of perishable goods. Companies providing goods within the freshness period will have the highest customer satisfaction relating to quality.

Best-in-class operators will continuously evaluate and discard products early in the Freshness Window. On the other hand, struggling companies will be offering products later in the Freshness Window, up to the point of spoilage. Customers purchasing products late in the Freshness Window will have a limited amount of time to use the product before spoilage occurs. In many cases, a good operator will throw product away at a point in the Freshness Window that the poorly run operation would still have available for sale. In this scenario, customers of the poorly run retailer are eating the equivalent of the competitor’s garbage.

Shrinkage Paradox

If freshness is such a huge opportunity, why do companies leave product on the shelf outside of its freshness period? The problem is rooted in the Shrinkage Paradox. Shrinkage is the losses that occur from discarding product. Some companies have intense pressure to reduce losses resulting from shrinkage. This pressure is frequently misinterpreted by line-level managers. Often times, the line-level manager interprets reducing shrink as keeping product available for sale longer. By doing so, product is kept on the shelf past the freshness period into degradation.

Every retailer of perishable goods has a tolerance of the amount of shrink they will allow. Perishable grocers typically allow anywhere from 5%-8% of total perishable sales. As pressure to reduce shrinkage is increased, most companies inadvertently expand their Freshness Window to allow product more time on the shelf to potentially be sold. This will reduce shrinkage slightly to achieve desired levels. However, these efforts are limited to the spoilage point of the product, because the shelf life cannot be extended beyond it.

Opening the Freshness Window to reduce shrinkage will only provide small and temporary reductions. By opening the Freshness Window into degradation, customers will be dissatisfied, and some will shop competitors. This strategy will ultimately backfire due to the loss of sales. The loss of sales will cause an increase in shrinkage as a percentage to total sales. This is the position of poorly run perishable operations.

Alternately, retailers with good operations will continuously evaluate and throw out products that do not meet their freshness standards. The quality of discarded products from well run operations are much higher than poorly run operations; however, these well run operations will have shrinkage near poorly run operations. Paradoxically, both operations will have similar shrinkage figures, which ignore the quality of product discarded. This will cause many to falsely assume that both retailers have comparable operational efficiencies.

The Root Cause

Shrinkage is normally higher in poorly run operations; however, the real issue is the type of product discarded. The true sign of a well run operation is the freshness of the product available for sale. The difference lies in how fresh the product being thrown out it is, which is what compromises shrinkage. Good retailers throw out product within the freshness period before it begins to degrade. Fresher product increases sales and customer satisfaction.

Selling product within its freshness period requires the retailer to have sales to turn over the product within said period. As sales increase, this becomes easier. Assuming the freshness period for bananas is 7 days, a retailer must average selling a case of bananas per week in order to sell a case ordered within its freshness period. Problems occur when a retailer orders more perishable product than its average weekly sales support. In this example; if the retailer sells one case of bananas per week, ordering two cases will cause a problem. At this point, a decision has to be made to take a loss by throwing the product away or keep the product available for sale past the freshness period.

Shrinkage is merely a symptom of poor ordering and planning. The root cause of the issue is ordering too much product. This notion is difficult to grasp for some; precisely, because proper ordering is complex. When selling perishable goods, the best information is often in the form of projections. In the case of industrial production, factories can place just-in-time orders for a small group standardized parts. In a grocery store, there are hundreds of perishable products, which can come from different areas of the world depending on the growing season. Each of these products has a unique Freshness Window. This task can be daunting; especially, considering the limited amount of sales and inventory data available.

To a lesser extent, other procedures such as "cold chain" can similarly reduce the freshness of perishable products. Cold chain is a procedure to keep products at required storing temperatures during transportation, which can occur when a store receives product and when a store moves product from storage into selling areas. If perishable products are allowed to lose temperature during this time, quality is reduced corresponding to the amount of time without temperature control. Here again, following these procedures serves to maintain the quality of product that has already been purchased; not doing so, decreases the value of the goods.

Quality Costs

Many retailers selling perishable goods choose to look the other way as it relates to shrinkage, so long as the number is within their tolerance. These companies are falsely assured by their shrinkage figure being near the industry average. However, as mentioned earlier, the product thrown out (shrinkage) can vary in terms of quality. The real issue concerns the quality of product that is available for sale.

In a highly competitive industry, quality of goods is a significant differentiator. Especially, considering that improvements in quality can come at no additional cost to the company. The goal is to maintain the freshness of the product that has already been purchased, which is accomplished by proper ordering. Ironically, few retailers commit resources to improve this operational area of their business. Perhaps, the Shrinkage Paradox is masking their perception of the problem or the organization does not truly understand the impact of the problem.

Nevertheless, quality has a significant impact on customer satisfaction. In a recent survey conducted by the Food Marketing Institute in 2010, customers noted product quality as the second leading consideration in selecting a grocery store, which was only 2% less than the leading consideration of price. In 2008, as part of the same survey, customers identified product quality as the leading selection criteria. As economic pressures relax, retailers can expect product quality to take center stage with customers.

Building a Structure for Quality

Addressing the quality issue is not simple. Sales serve as a feedback loop for product quality, so poorly run operations will struggle most because of fewer sales. Since products are sold by cases and packs, a retailer needs enough sales to cover at least the smallest quality available to be ordered within the freshness window; anything else will be shrinkage. Increasing quality will improve customer satisfaction, leading to sales; however, there will be a lag period. In the meantime, accepting the unsold product at the end of the freshness period as shrinkage will be difficult. Consumer demand for variety will add to this pressure, because many niche varieties have low sales.

Complicating the ordering problem is the absence of good sales data from these products. Some retailers stock hundreds of different perishable goods, all of which have a unique Freshness Window. Companies rarely have item specific data regarding amount sold, ordered, and discarded; if they do, the data is rarely uniform between each measurement. This type of data is instrumental in measuring each product’s Freshness Window against the amount of inventory on hand. Retailers need to know where their inventory levels relate to the Freshness Window at all times. Reporting on this metric will uncover ordering issues which may be causing poor quality products to be sold. Understanding which products have the largest freshness opportunity will allow for strategic focusing on the problem. Additionally, the retailer will be able to use this data to measure the impact their Freshness Window is having on sales, which may justify investments in training or technology.

In some cases, a product may be identified as having unavoidable shrink. Unavoidable shrink may be caused by average sales within the freshness period that do not cover the amount of product in a case or pack. Under these circumstances, the retailer can choose to accept the losses in order to provide variety for its customers. If this option is chosen, the retailer should keep track of all unavoidable shrinkage and include it in budgets. In some cases, it may be possible to work with suppliers to reduce case size to accommodate the Freshness Window of the product. This would not be possible without having the granular data to identify these opportunities. As a last resort, a retailer may choose to eliminate the product from its offerings.

By attacking the quality issue at its root, retailers can improve the quality of perishable goods they have available to their customers, without increasing costs. An increase in quality will lead to an increase in customer satisfaction, which will increase total sales. Sales increases will allow the retailer to consider stocking a larger variety of products that would not be profitable at a lower sales volume. Retailers may need to invest in new technology in order to capture the data needed to develop successful freshness strategies. In highly competitive industries, quality strategies are critical to delivering exceptional value to customers.

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Dept Mgr Store LP & Safety Lowe's New Carrollton, MD Lowe's
Dept Mgr Store LP & Safety Lowe's Richmond, VA Lowe's
AP Manager in Training Walmart Pleasanton, CA Walmart
AP Manager in Training Walmart Palmyra, PA Walmart
AP Manager in Training Walmart Fall River, MA Walmart
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Area Mgr - AP All Facilities Winter Haven, FL Walmart
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District Operations Mgr Home Depot Cleveland, OH Home Depot
Loss Prevention Mgr Macy's Oakbrook, IL Macy's
District LP Mgr TJ Maxx Indianapolis, IN The TJX Companies, Inc.
District LP Mgr BCBG Max Azria Group Washington, D.C. Monster
Loss Prevention Mgr Sears Amarillo, TX Sears Holdings Corp.
LP Mgr (In Training/Bench) Sears Portland, OR Sears Holdings Corp.
LP System Mgr Compass Group Atlanta, GA Compass Group
Executive Team Leader - AP Target Centerville, UT Target
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District LP Mgr Big Lots Inland Empire, CA Big Lots

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James Stewart was named District Loss Prevention Manager for Sears Holdings Corp.
Jorge Juria was named Regional Loss Prevention Manager for Pet Supermarket.
Casey Cox was named Regional Loss Prevention Investigator for 24 Hour Fitness.
David Smith was named Regional Asset Protection Manager for Microsoft.
Matt Dowling was named District Loss Prevention Manager for Sears Holdings Corp.
Kevin Keyser was named District Assets Protection Manager for Weis Markets.
Kimberley Eriksen was named Regional Loss Prevention Manager for Joann Fabric & Craft Stores.
Bryan Gittings, CFI was named Sr. District Investigator for The Home Depot.
Darnell Pharr was named Regional Investigator, Loss Prevention for The Children's Place.
Michael Oren was named Regional Manager of Investigations - East Coast for Bloomingdales.

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5 Things Failure Teaches You About Leadership As you reflect upon your career and future, step back and assess your body of work and how it has impacted the manner in which you lead. What makes you a stronger leader and provides you the perspective to cast a greater vision and help others achieve more? It is the wisdom embedded within your failures. (Edison, Gates, and Disney did it)

9 Ways Great Companies Organize Their Teams for Success Having a great idea isn't enough to build a great company, says Kevin O'Connor, co-founder of DoubleClick and CEO of FindTheBest. What it really takes is teams of talented people, organized in ways that truly let them shine. The nine tips in this article will help you organize your team for success. (Office Space)
Listening to Complainers is Bad for Your Brain Do you hate it when people complain? It turns out there's a good reason: Listening to too much complaining is bad for your brain in multiple ways, according to Trevor Blake, a serial entrepreneur and author. In his book, he describes how neuroscientists have learned to measure brain activity when faced with various stimuli. (A long gripe session)

Secrets from the World's Happiest Workplace It's a well-known fact that happy workers are more productive than miserable ones. Unfortunately, far from being happy, many workers (especially in the U.S.) are stressed to the breaking point. How can managers create a work environment that generates happier (and therefore more productive) workers?  (Imitate Iceland)

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Being in a slump is an absolutely scary place where your brain does more damage than your actions or lack thereof. More mental than anything else a slump happens to all of us and getting out of it can look like the longest darkest tunnel you've ever experienced. But remember there's always light at the end of every tunnel and getting focused on that light is the key. And turning it always begins with getting back to basics. Forcing yourself to find that focus and using the basics to get out of the slump is the only way out. Lean on your basics and trust you know them well enough that the old performance will start showing itself because once they do, you'll find yourself having fun and out of that slump.

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